As freelancers, we work from our computers which gives us the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. We also have the freedom to work with anyone globally. After all, we’re free and flexible!
While freelancers are flexible, deadlines are NOT.
It can be especially hard to stick to your deadlines if your client is international. Doing time zone math all the time is distracting and time wasting…but you have to stay on top of your deadlines or your client relationship could suffer.
So, what’s the trick to keeping clients happy and meeting your deadlines no matter what time zone they’re set in?
When you’re doing digital work, you’ll need to use digital tools!
Staying aware of your clients’ time zones is vital, not only for deadlines but for much more. If you know what time it is in your client’s country, you’ll always know when you can reach out to them or when they’re waking up and expecting work from you.
Instead of constantly pausing your work to count the time difference on your fingers, stop losing time and use a tool!
Use your smartphone to add your client’s cities to your World Clock for iPhone or Android.
Keeping all the time zones you need on one screen makes it quick to double-check a client’s time zone before sending a message.
*Tip: use a 24-hour clock so that you never mistake 8 AM for 8 PM and call your client during dinner.
Having clients in different time zones also makes it difficult to schedule a meeting, Skype or phone call. It’s a huge time waster to send emails back and forth, searching for a time to meet.
Sign up for Calendly for the simplest and fastest scheduling.
On your Calendly account, you’ll customize your available hours and when your clients see them, they are automatically translated to their time zone. They’ll pick a slot in their time zone and click!
Good Ol’ Google Calendar.
It’s added straight to both of your Google Calendars, which is another great tool for staying on top of deadlines.
Keeping track of deadlines in another time zone can be exhausting. You’re constantly doing the math to figure out what the deadline is in your time zone AND the client’s time zone.
Skip the math and add your deadlines into Google Calendar.
Select the time zone of your client when you’re creating the event and Google Calendar adjusts that deadline to your time zone automatically! No math required.
It all seems simple enough until you remember that some countries use daylight savings time zones and some don’t. Don’t worry, you’ve got Google Calendar!
If you set the Google Calendar event in your client’s country, the tool will automatically update the deadline according to their country’s daylight savings practices.
*Tip: if you’re still worried about daylight savings interfering with your work, add reminders to Google Calendar to make sure it switched automatically.
3 Tools to Help Freelancers Stick to International Deadlines
- World Clock: keep all your client’s time zones on one, quick-to-check screen.
- Calendly: let your clients know when you’re available according to their time zones.
- Google Calendar: convert deadlines to your time zone and set alarms to stay on top. This tool also helps with tricky daylight savings time zones.
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